Mother’s Day is one of those arbitrary proclamations that hit many of us with a hail of mixed emotions. My mother is gone, and my only child far away, and I know that I am not alone in finding the whole business, for many reasons, rather poignant, not to mention manipulative. I’ve been feeling alienated anyway, anxious and uprooted. Sometimes even the familiar begins to look strange. So many assumptions have been shaken. My current thinking is that we all need to mother one another, now more than ever, and that’s what I resolve to do. I don’t need a special day to remind me.
I was in this nurturing mind set as I prepared a meal with pleasure and affection for our little writing group, who gathered at my house Friday evening. We took turns reading bits of things we’ve written, more like a series of serenades, as Rebecca put it, than presentations for critique and workshop, but the conversation and connection felt right. We are finding our process, making discoveries, using our voices to document what it feels like to be alive in the world right now. We are primary sources.
Today I came upon these thoughts on writing by Jhumpa Lahari in the introduction to the novel Ties by Domenico Starnone, (translated by Lahari): “Writing is a way to salvage life, to give it form and meaning. It exposes what we have hidden, unearths what we have neglected, misremembered, denied. It is a method of capturing, of pinning down, but it is also a form of truth, of liberation.”
I like that idea. Let’s expose and pin down some tangible truths, find what will strengthen and steady us, hold on to each other for support.